I finally managed to re-install Windows 10 on my HI10 CW1515 (base model, not plus or pro or X or Air) though it did take some trying. FYI I picked this model (made in 2016 I believe) because it had 2 full size USB ports (take note manufacturers), not those new USB-C things that nothing of mine fits without adapters, and bought in 2018. Only a Windows update screwed it up and stopped it from booting and the recovery option wouldn’t work either, it just stuck in a boot loop. More on updates later.
I tried 3 different versions of Win 10, from this site, but the one that worked best was an older version - 1607 which I think was installed from the factory originally, labeled as C109 from here: My Files and I then downloaded the driver files from here: Hi10(x64)drive
Note: I have the optional keyboard and a wired mouse attached, so makes it easier.
Then unzipped (unrar’d) with 7zip, copied to a USB memory stick (16GB) and volume labelled WINPE (else it won’t work) using my desktop PC. Following instructions I booted with F7 pressed, picked ‘UEFI: Sandisk, Partition 1’ from the list and Windows started it’s install in command prompt mode, typed ‘Exit’ from keyboard when prompted and let Windows carry on until I got the setup (Country, language etc).
The problem I had initially was lack of sound, I tried several times to install the driver but found the only way it world work was to go into ‘Device Manager’ (right click ‘This PC’ select ‘Properties’ then ‘Device Manager’ from the top left of the ‘System’ window), and delete BOTH listings from ‘Audio inputs and outputs’ (at the top) and ‘Sound, video and game controllers’ near the bottom, only then could I load the drivers (right click the ES8316AudCodec.inf file from the Audio folder) and select ‘Install’ and get the sound to work (if it doesn’t work for you, choose a different driver in the Audio folder).
I also installed the touch screen driver (again, right click the .inf file and select ‘Install’). It’s the same for the other drivers too, although I missed out the gravity sensor as I run only in landscape mode on Windows, I found it annoying to keep switching sideways. Some drivers install automatically via Windows but if you’re missing anything or something doesn’t work then just find the driver and install from the .inf in the appropriate folder from driver download files.
When doing the install I purposefully DIDN’T set up Wi-Fi so it wouldn’t download Windows updates, it takes a while and I just wanted to get it working to start with. Now interestingly after I’d set it all up and was happy with how it worked I did notice the battery life was back to 3 to 4 hours, like when the tablet was new, whereas before the crash, and Windows automatic updates, the battery life was down to 1.5 to 2 hours, I thought the tablet battery was failing then, but it appears the updates have an unhealthy effect and drain the battery unnecessarily, I was certainly surprised to say the least. If anyone says updates don’t hurt your PC don’t believe them, I have proved (to myself at least) this isn’t the case, they definitely had a detrimental effect on my tablet. I have now disabled the Windows updates permanently on my tablet (Youtube has some good videos on how to do this) and I would recommend it 100%.
Finally, after disabling Windows updates, I have installed ZoneAlarm Free Antivirus and Firewall for security (I don’t trust Microsoft anyway), FYI you have to install the firewall first then the antivirus afterwards in zonealarm, and I’ve got rid of most of the annoying junk Windows puts on your computer, like double drive letters in file explorer, quick links, onedrive, groove music, films and tv, xbox, maps etc. (info and instructions freely available online) although some involve regedit (not for the faint hearted but I’m a bit of a nerd) and I have got something I actually like using again, it boots faster (ZoneAlarm slows it a little) and shuts down quicker too, so I’m a lot happier now than I was before it crashed. I now have a tablet that is very usable and like it was when new
All I have to do now is reload all my ham radio software and I’m good to go.
Additional: To prevent future disasters I would highly recommend everyone buys a full version of Acronis True Image from acronis.com, it’s well worth the 30/40/50 $/£/€ it costs, and sometimes special offers are available at a lower price, it will save so much time next time you have a catastrophic failure as you can make a complete image of the eMMC drive or just the Windows C: drive if needed (mine used 17+GB so 32 GB minimum drive needed, the bigger the better, I used the 128GB microSD card), just remember to make a boot drive to restore things. It has saved me several times when Win updates have totally screwed up my main PC to be unbootable, and now I’ve done it for my HI10 tablet too (I have the 3 PC version). I believe the trial version will let you do a backup but you need the full version to restore. I’ve used it for some years now and couldn’t be happier with it. If your tablet or PC works fine at the moment, now is the time to make a backup, if you don’t then it’ll be too late, don’t say I didn’t warn you You can also set it to do regular backups at intervals you can select, hourly, daily, weekly, monthly etc.
Disclaimer: The instruction listed above are from my own experience and no responsibility can be accepted by me or the Chuwi forum for any damage or malfunction caused by following said instructions (yeah, the legal bit, sorry)
Have fun all and I hope this helps those that are in need of it. Stay safe everybody.